REVIEW: The XII #1

What do you do when your back is against the wall and there are no good choices on how to save yourself and your family? Which of the bad choices that will doom your family will you choose? This is the dilemma Caleb faces in The XII The Father.

In a near future world where civilization has already collapsed, Caleb, his wife, their kids, his brother-in-law and ranch hand are all depending on a failing farm to keep them alive. They suffer a number of small setbacks that make their already precarious position event worse.

Caleb want to try going to the city – which I think is Chicago according to a map filled with skulls and radiation symbols. His wife, on the other hand, thinks their chances would be better staying together on the farm for at least one more winter. Neither choice seems great, considering they fled the chaos of the city when everything fell apart.

Then the raiders hit the farm.

In general, I am tired of these the world has gone to crap stories where people try to out-Road The Road. That book was all depressing, but literate. Most of these books don’t even get to the literate part.

That’s where The XII is different. Patrick Trahey takes the time to make us care about the different character. When they argue, it is because of honest disagreements and not just because the plot needs it.

The art – primarily black and white – is detailed and expressive. It really pays off well in this gray world. When artist Luis Suárez splashes the page with the orange of fire it is sickening and devastating. It fails to provide any relief from the gray. And when the light from the farmers’ own torches is that same color two pages later, it still fills you with dread.

One of the great things about the age we live in, is the way people from across the world can come together and bring a project like this to fruition. Trahey is from Chicago. Suárez lives in the Spanish Canary Islands. Martin Pérez, the letterer, is in Montevideo, Uruguay. Without the internet, it would be so much more difficult for these guys to work together to produce an independent comic.

The XII is being distributed digitally by Alterna Comics. At this point, I don’t see that they have put this on their schedule of comics on newsprint for physical distribution.+

Writer: Patrick Trahey
Artist: Luis Suárez
Letters: Martin Pérez
Publisher: Alterna Comics

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